On a scrap of paper,
blown by the wind
across my feet,
I found these words
in coal dust writ:
The Purple Wizard stands on a barren hillside facing the rising sun.
The Purple Wizard’s greywhite hair circles ’round and ‘tween proud, bony legs.
In the left hand, the Purple Wizard holds a crooked staff carved from mastodon bone.
The right hand holds a dense ball of red-brown fire ants, swarming and angry.
The Purple Wizard expects to live forever and knows the name of every star from here to when.
The Purple Wizard never was a child and never lost anything, not legs nor lunch.
The Purple Wizard knows the secrets of the waterwood true and the Purple Wizard inhales ash, swims through death like a swordfish, cunning and complete.
Many loves and hates had the Purple Wizard and many minds did unfurl.
When the rains came and the flowers finally bloomed, only the Purple Wizard felt morose, only the Purple Wizard felt responsible, only the Purple Wizard remained on a barren hill to apologize.
I let the winds
scoop the paper
then turn my face
toward the North
and continue down the path.